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Very new cyclist, in need of some advice please?

airyfairy 02 Apr 13:42  

Joined: 02 Apr 2011

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Hi all,

Having got through my first ride in a lot of years yesterday, and feeling it today, I am aware that there are several issues before I can stream line my experience to be much better for me and enable me to ride much further.

Question 1: What is LE JOG?

Q2: I want a bike I can handle as my bike weighs a ton and is very hard uphill. I have tennis elbow and after using my heavy old contraption I am swollen and awkward today. Any suggestions? Also I like to sit as upright as possible as it's more comfortable... not difficult at all am I?

Q3: I am based in Breaston in Derbyshire and am looking for safe routes I can explore and long enough to make a day of it. Any ideas?

Q4: Are there specific things I should be looking for in the way of my seat, brakes, gears etc..

If you can help at all I would be most grateful. But, please bear in mind I am a knocking middle aged, fitness challenged individual.

Have a good day :-)



ozzie51 04 Apr 00:02  

Joined: 24 Feb 2011

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Finding the right bike is hard, you need to workout where you will be cycling. Go to your LBS and talk to them have a trial ride on a few differane ones,and try a few other LBS to get the right one and not just the cycle they want to get rid of.
But the cycle you buy you will want to upgrade or change in the next 12 months.
Good luck
John


ozzie51 04 Apr 00:08  

Joined: 24 Feb 2011

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Just a thought on a ride for the day, Maybe try Wollaton Park. About a 20mile round trip and avoid the A52.


dudley 04 Apr 07:41  

Joined: 16 Jan 2009

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Q1

LE JOG = Land's End to John O'Groats

(sometimes called JOG LE for obvious reasons!)

My Latest Route: Nov 2009 Forth Estuary Circular

txbnet 04 Apr 07:59  

Joined: 29 Jun 2010

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And LBS = Local Bike Shop (not Leeds Building Society!)

A hybrid bike might give you a good start as you can take these on roads without tyre friction of a Mountain bike, and will generally negotiate unsurfaced tracks in your area without difficulty.

When you get right into it, you'll probably end up with three bikes in your garage, one for rough riding, one for touring trips and one for roads if you join up with a cycling club. Your wife may not understand why you need three bikes!

Very best of luck, keep it up even if you ache for the first few trips. It does get very much easier as soon as your body works out what its doing! I've been back to cycling for the past three years and it is the most fantastic way of seeing the countryside.



My Latest Route: Jan 2011 Whitley Bay to Bellingham

sabrepoint 05 Apr 02:09  

Joined: 03 Apr 2011

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Well, here are thoughts of male hitting 60:

I'd go for a mountain bike. A breeze to handle; stop on a pin; great control; robust; comfortable. And you can probably change the little bracket the handlebars fit into so you get a more upright riding position. I also have added a gel seat cover. My bike's only got front suspension, but I'm told the older one gets, rear susp all the better!

I also use my mtn bike for touring, with panniers. Done 3 trips (4th coming up in a month!) in UK/Europe (we live in NZ) and just can't figure the need for 'touring' or road bikes for this stuff (especially when we end up (often inadvertently!) going on rough tracks. Knocking on 10,000 km. Put slicks on like my wife does to make it a little easier if you like.

Also ride a road bike at home. But only for speed. In comparison with mtnbike it's harder on the back, less comfortable, and harder to control, more punctures.

Hope this helps
Cheers


airyfairy 15 May 11:43  

Joined: 02 Apr 2011

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Hello again,

Well I went for a hybrid bike in the end. It's still quite chunky (which I like), and I can ride it anywhere without struggling.

I tried road bikes but found I have a tendency to drop off on corners as they don't lean well. I guess that is just down to my upbringing and being a bit of a tomboy, I grew up on Grifters and Choppers.

I only bought an entry level bike at this stage as I think this is my 'learning' bike, but it is already streets ahead of my cronky old mtb with it's three gears and rusty old chain.

I've only got as far as doing a 20 mile ride at the weekends, and I bit of commuting in the week. The commuting into the local town though is nice because I don't take the straight road route I cut through to the local park and it's much nicer and a slightly longer route.

It's a bit addictive isn't it! :-)


Martin48 18 May 09:08  

Joined: 10 Apr 2011

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Hello Airy

Good choice! I have had a hybrid (Trek 7100fx) for over six years now and find it comfortable. Although most of my riding is on tarmac, I do occasionally go over tracks (not too rough) and feel confident that my bike is built to take it. The highest gear ratio I have is 48:14, or about 3.43:1 which can be a bit frustrating if speed is important. I did consider changing to a road bike this year but, for several reasons, have temporarily dropped the idea.

You mention that you are knocking middle-age. Well, you might feel your age when you first start cycling but you will find that your fitness level rises with each ride you do. By the way, I am in my early 60s.

I hope you have many years of enjoyment from your new hybrid.

Martin

PS - You are right - it IS addictive!


My Latest Route: Jul 2017 halstead route

airyfairy 18 May 10:35  

Joined: 02 Apr 2011

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Hello Martin,

Being a beginner, your reference to your gears 'the highest gear ratio I have is 48:14, or about 3.43:1' means absolutely nothing to me, sorry to be ignorant.

I do know I now have 3 sets of 7 gears. The top set is the harder set, or slow to pedal, more speed if you like. I do drop down to the middle set when going uphill. I've never used the bottom set and can't imagine a hill big enough to need them!

Still learning :-)


Martin48 18 May 14:36  

Joined: 10 Apr 2011

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Hello Airy

Well, I assume you have three rings by the pedals (these are called chainrings or chainwheels). Your rear set has seven cogs mounted on the hub of the wheel. You can find the number of teeth by the simple expedient of physically counting them. The ratio of the largest chainring to the smallest rear cog gives you the highest gear and therefore dictates the maximum speed available to you. Obviously, this speed also depends upon the circumference of your wheels and how fast you can turn the pedals! Because of the laws of physics, this combination of largest front and smallest rear cogs is the hardest to turn. In my case, the ratio of 3.43:1 means that for every complete turn of the pedals, the rear wheel rotates 3.43 times. I hope that makes sense.

You can easily work out the ratios by simply dividing the number of front teeth by the number of back teeth but, in case you would like to do it online, here is a link to help you: http://www.whycycle.co.uk/gear_calculator/index.php

I have always assumed Derbyshire to be hilly so I was surprised to read that you have not yet had occasion to use the smallest of your chainwheels. You must be fitter than you think! My area is north Essex which has, contrary to popular belief, a fair share of sharp inclines so, although I rarely use it, I am very grateful for my smallest chainring.

Hope the above helps.

Martin

My Latest Route: Jul 2017 halstead route

LisaW 18 May 21:12  

Joined: 18 May 2011

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Hi Airyfairy
I've just bought a new bike having only been biking for a couple of months. It is addictive. I've just booked half a day off work with my friend (who also works with me) to go cycling!!!! We're doing a 27 mile round trip tomorrow which will be my longest continuous route.
Lisa


waggletails 20 May 18:42  

Joined: 17 Jul 2009

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as you live at breaston then you are not far from several canal or river routes,which are very good and vey safe but if its hills you are looking for you will have to go further into derbyshire.near to you is the old derby canal footpath which leads onto the erewash canal,this is a proper working canal,go south to trent lock to follow to the trent into nottingham or indeed using the nottingham/beeston canal follow back to were you started,a nice circular route,or you can foolow the erewash canal north to the basin at langly mill.being at breaston you are also near to the trent and mersey canal although to be honest ive never been on this one just yet.i live in nottingham and my fave route at the moment is getting on the nottingham canal at balloon woods,following this to langly mill to get on the erewash canal,follow this all the way to the trent at trent lock then follow the trent to nottingham and back home ,nearly 50 odd miles and i just take my time and chat to folks along the way,there are one or two tea stops too.theres also the old grantham canal that starts in nottingham too but then again if you have a car you can go further afield.hope this helps and happy cycing.charlie


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